A Fated Choice: Why Corrin was chosen over Azura for Smash



This article contains no spoilers for Fire Emblem: Fates beyond what was shown in Corrin’s trailer.

I. Introduction

It’s no secret that Corrin was partly chosen for Smash to represent the upcoming Fire Emblem: Fates; however, there are some who believe that Azura, the deuteragonist from the same game, would have been a better option for Fates promotion. In this brief article, I will be analyzing why this isn’t the case.

II. Who is Azura?

Azura is the deuteragonist of Fire Emblem Fates that joins Corrin in their quest with the kingdom of choice depending on version (or neither kingdom if the Revelation DLC path is chosen). She is one of the two Songstress units in the game, a new class introduced in Fates that wields a lance and sings to grant units an additional turn.

She also specializes in wearing attire which shows an amount of skin that would make Palutena blink. (Source)

In essence, Azura is comparable to Lucina in terms of their roles as female deuteragonists in a Fire Emblem title. However, would it have been enough to justify adding her over Corrin?

III. Common arguments in favor of Azura

She’s shown more in promotional media.

This is a tricky argument to tackle. Much like Robin in Awakening, animated cinematics with Corrin in Fates do not show the character’s face in order to establish them as a varied protagonist without a ‘default’ look, so the only way they can be shown in promotional videos is via gameplay with their in-game sprites. Confusingly, however, the cover art for both versions show a default male and female Corrin, respectively, when Awakening did not feature Robin on the cover.

Wait, I get it now. They’re telling me that Nohr is the girly side and Hoshido is the manly side. Absolute genius. (Source)

Ironically enough, Azura only appears in the complete version of the art, where she stands in the middle.

In regards to commercials, Azura is shown more for the same reasons outlined above. Even so, commercials tend to be unreliable and sometimes even misleading in what information is transmitted to the buyer.

He wasn’t on the box art or the commercials…Kojima lied to me! That troll-ooooooooooooooh. (Source)

She’s just as important to the story.

Being a deuteragonist usually means that a character with that designation is secondary compared to the main protagonist, which is the case for Azura, even if they are otherwise significant to the plot. In the case of individual character selections, protagonists and recurring characters are usually selected first to join Smash most of the time. Azura, by role, is neither. Fire Emblem as a Smash series has followed this trend as well with the five main Lords, Lucina being an exception even though it was likely never taken into account due to her original status as an Alph-like character swap for Marth. Said original status also highlights that outside of this alternate character swap, Lucina would have not been chosen over Robin. The same principle applies to Azura.

Azura uses a lance and that’s a unique factor.

Uniqueness is highly subjective; even if a character uses a weapon as common as a sword, they can still be made different, as is with the cases made for characters such as Isaac from Golden Sun. A different weapon is also an arbitrary criteria for justifying a character when used by itself and not to complement other aspects of the character. In its defense, however, lance weapons have never been used in Smash and could be used for a long-range melee based playstyle depending on the character. However, in this case a lance is not enough to distinguish Azura from every other trait Corrin has.

Speak softly and carry a big stick. A pointy stick. And paint it gold. (Source)


The reasons are stacked against Azura, unfortunately for fans. Though it’s probably a moot point with how much controversy Corrin already has surrounding him, so it would be no different in Azura’s case. 

IV. Arguments against Azura

Corrin is an avatar of the player, and by extension has more of a role.

Before Villager was announced, the most vocal Animal Crossing suggestion was Tom Nook. Before Robin and Lucina were announced, the most vocal Fire Emblem suggestion for this version of Smash was Chrom. But instead of going to the most well known supporting characters, Sakurai emphasized player avatars instead. This may have been partially for the uniqueness the characters provided, but it may also be that he wanted to use the character with whom the player spends the longest time. Any Animal Crossing player knows Tom Nook, but they are a Villager.

That might be why Corrin was chosen over Azura, or in a relatable example, why Elma from Xenoblade Chronicles X may have not had a chance.

Much more can be done with Corrin than Azura.

While a somewhat subjective argument given that any character can be unique, Corrin’s more prominent role and abilities in the story of Fates means by extension that they have much more to work with when adapting them to Smash between the weapon of choice(a chainsword) plus water and dragon based abilities to complement the swordplay instead of having the character solely focused on the sword, much like the reasons Robin was favored over Chrom.

I’m actually surprised that the strict folks at Game Freak haven’t called out IS for making a human Palkia. If you want to go further, said Palkia wields a Honedge too…Pokemon has 8 characters now? Color me impressed. (Source)

Corrin is still more representative of the game as a whole.

Any way you slice it, the central character still represents the game better than any supporting character when talking about Smash with scant few exceptions. In a sense, it would be the equivalent of adding Roll instead of Mega Man, Waddle Dee over Kirby, Tails over Sonic, the list goes on.

It’s evident that Corrin was the better option from a representative standpoint. If the game had two inclusions, it would be easier to justify, but for a single character, there really isn’t any feasible way.

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  1. I still would have preferred Azura..

    I’m just sick and tired of only ever getting protagonists/the top main characters for FE all the time. Pretty sure I would enjoy using Azura in Smash more than Corrin but eh. What’s done is done. Still rooting for Anna/Tiki in that case….

    Zelda is similar. I’d like the popular one-offs like Midna cos well they are popular and thier MOVESET should be what matters most IMHO.

    1. Well like he said Azura wouldn’t be a good choice to represent Fates. Plus I would rather not have Azura the target of the controversy she already has (Spoilers! more like had :'() enough problems as it is. That would be just plain shitty for Azura. Yet maybe she would get more sympathy because of what happens in Fates.

  2. I’d like to tell that Azura has more going for her than her than just her spear, perhaps even more than Corrin has going for him/her.

    First of all, with the Fire Emblem-necklace, she can use aquamancer-powers in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

    Secondly, her dancing and singing qualities can offer a nice visual flair.
    We don’t have a (ballet) dancer on the roster yet and it’s an unique niche that Azura fills there,

    Lastly, her supplementary weapon, her spear, is not yet seen in Smash yet as well.
    This would make every nook and cranny of her moveset 100% unique.

    Let’s stack this up against Corrin.

    Azura, for one, can perfectly re-enact Corrin’s special moveset thanks to her water powers, spear, and if you want to cheat, aquamancer powers (to magically create a water-based dragon mouth)

    Chainsaw sword and dragon hand spear can be replaced with her water-embedded spear.

    The visual flair of changing limb-like hitboxes into a dragon look can be replaced with the visual flair of her dancing prowess.

    On top of that, her aquamancing potential is literally endless, being able to create anything.

    Corrin is the main character of Fates, whose choice is the crux of the game.
    But he’s not the one with the moveset potential.
    That’s Azura.

    1. Well like he said Azura wouldn’t be a good choice to represent Fates as a whole in my opinion. Plus I would rather not have Azura the target of the controversy she already has (Spoilers! more like had :'() enough problems as it is. That would be just plain shitty for Azura. Yet maybe she would get more sympathy because of what happens in Fates. Corrin and Azura are basically tied when it comes to the moveset potential.

  3. I didn’t have Azura in my mind from the first place, and I didn’t know there were arguments regarding to her inclusion too.
    Good and interesting article!

    1. Male Corrin was 5th on that same popularity poll, yet they still chose him over female Corrin as the default. Doesn’t look like Nintendo cared much about popularity poll results when making their choices.

  4. Because Corrin is the main character and lacks the issues that prevented Chrom’s entry.

    It shouldn’t be a mystery to anyone why Azura wasn’t chosen.

  5. I’m not a big fan of “create your characters” in rpgs and similar genres, so i would have preferred Azura, and being a lance user puts her above in my list (poor Ephraim isn’t as relevant anymore).

    Also the outfit comment doesn’t make much sense, since female Corrin got black tights in Smash 4: http://media.eventhubs.com/images/2015/12/15_cor05.jpg while she lacks them in Fates, Azura could have received a similar treatment.

    1. Yet Corrin used a lance in his moveset too. You may not be a fan of self inserts but it only made sense that it’s Corrin.

    1. A turn-based medieval fantasy strategy RPG. Has had 14 entries in the series, The last two games have become a bit more “anime” in terms of the aesthetic and characterization, but are also likely the two most popular entries in the series (the 14th hasn’t come out in the US yet).

  6. This article comes across as incredibly smug. It’s hard to see this as an analysis when you dedicate both your “arguments for” and “arguments against” sections to telling us why you think she shouldn’t be in the game.

    “Any way you slice it, the central character still represents the game better than any supporting character when talking about Smash with scant few exceptions. In a sense, it would be the equivalent of adding Roll instead of Mega Man, Waddle Dee over Kirby, Tails over Sonic, the list goes on.”

    Uhhh… no. Those are all titular characters, Corrin isn’t even remotely their equivalent. Azura also has FAR more relevance in her games than Roll, Waddle Dee, etc.

  7. If you asked me, what I’d have wanted more out of a Fates character would’ve been the terrain-altering power of the Dragon’s Vein mechanic, making their thing more about stage control (kinda-sorta like what PAC-MAN does with all the mayhem he leaves everywhere, and the angles he can attack from).

    I’m sure Corrin will be a lot of fun to play, and Azura might’ve been had she been chosen (as she can do just that)… but given that Sakurai and company have done an incredible job applying the basic feel of a character’s game of origin into their moveset (Robin I feel is the new golden standard, reflecting the ‘limited resource’ characteristic of pre-Fates Fire Emblem), I do feel a slight bit of disappointment in regards to Corrin’s overall gameplay design in reflecting their game of origin.

    It’s always fun to think about ‘what if,’ though. Which, I suppose, is appropriate to the Japanese title of the game(s) in question.

  8. I’d really like to see Anna make the cut since shes been in every single FE game except for the second game. It’d be nice to see a character that wouldn’t end up being a ‘flavor of the month.’

    1. But then that’s why they should be in Smash. So we can still see them when the flavor of the month is over.

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